China Computer Federation (CCF) recently unveiled the preliminary design for a computer museum in Hengdian.
The 70,000 sqm project is programmed to be a hybrid and inclusive facility that consists of a computer history museum, a popular science center and a future pavilion, featuring conventional exhibitions and events as well as interactive, experimental, and entertaining experiences.
In a bid to make a sustainable edutainment attraction, CCF selected an unusual host for the museum at the popular yet out-of-way travel destination that is known for movie and TV productions and tourism operations. The partnership couples advanced technologies with popular entertainment, a dream-making environment with experiencing the “brave new world”.
The foothill site is between rolling hills and the expanse of a resurrected historic palace from another time and place. The design takes inspiration from the in-between location of what is natural and real, and what is fabricated and surreal, and translates the dualistic or binary context into a spatial and metaphorical narrative of evolving dynamics between physical and virtual existences.
The building is composed of two inverted masses shaped like abstract extractions of the surrounding landscape and paired up as mutual reflections along a “new horizon” – a horizontal gap divides and unites two corresponding volumes above and below with a panorama view. While the organic resemblance assimilates and attaches the building to the site, the metallic and reflective envelop diminishes its physical existence and liberates it from the immediate context.
At the center of the project is a grand central void that, as a wormhole penetrates and connects segregated spaces under and above the building. It spirals up and links a ground plaza and amphitheater to rooftop trails and terraces, creating a spatial portal and passage for visitors to cross and wander between earth and sky.
Three program components are assigned to three spatially distinguishable levels and vertically stacked for progressive curation, easy orientation and access as well as operational and visiting flexibility.
As the main draw, the future pavilion is housed on the open and spacious top level under the undulating tentlike roof that covers a continuous floor and provides a fairground or expo park environment with a transparent perimeter and direct outdoor accesses. The setting allows visitors to immerge in the fascinations of futuristic technologies without losing sight of outside realities.
A greater dosage of commercial amenities and social spaces are integrated throughout the project for it to perform beyond a conventional institution as an inclusive and viable public place for both the computer community and the urban community.
Construction is slated to start at the end of 2023.